on both occasions by a field officer, the attention of no one of the commanding officers of companies was directed at all times to orders received from superior officers nor to the precise manner in which they were carried out; hence the senior captain commanding preferred not to make a report from his own recollections of the events transpired.
According to your order, on Sunday morning (6th instant), about sunrise, Colonel Williams drew up his regiment in line of battle in the position assigned him in the brigade, the extreme left. Upon hearing rapid and continuous firing to our right we were half wheeled to the right and ordered forward in the direction of the enemy. After proceeding about 1 mile we were ordered to halt, when Colonel Williams was commanded to prepare to charge a battery in our front and to the rear of the enemy's first line of tents. In order to accomplish this we wheeled partially to the right and crossed a field in full view of the battery, which immediately opened upon our lines, resulting in the death of several privates and one gallant officer, Captain Samuel A. Sayle.
Then, after proceeding a short distance by right flank, we came upon the enemy's skirmishers, who opened fire upon us, which was immediately returned. After drawing in the skirmishers we were faced to the front, and after proceeding in a direction inclining to the left for the distance of about 200 yards, where we formed in a corn field on the left of the Sixteenth Alabama Regiment, we then wheeled to the left and opened a brisk fire upon the enemy's line, which had formed in the second line of tents and to the rear of the battery. After the firing had continued for several minutes with much spirit on both sides the enemy retreated beyond our view.
The command was then given to half wheel to the left and move forward in the direction of some tents that concealed the battery from sight. Having passed through them, our line was reformed in full view of the hill on which the battery was planted and about 300 yards distant. The command was then given to charge and promptly obeyed by our men, who reserved their fire until the branch at the foot of the hill was reached and crossed, when the enemy opened upon us from their battery and small-arms with telling effect. It was at this point that the regiment had the sad misfortune to lose its gallant colonel. He was shot through the breast and fell from his horse while nobly doing his duty, regardless of personal danger, in leading on the charge and inspiriting his men both by work and deed. We consider it, sir, unnecessary to speak further in his praise, as your official connection with him of late has furnished you an opportunity to acquaint yourself with his merits as a soldier and a gentleman.
Unfortunately for the regiment its loss did not end with the fall of its colonel, but its brave lieutenant-colonel (Brown) partially shared the fate of his superior officer. He was borne from the field with a badly-fractured leg. Captain Hearn and Lieutenant Henry also fell while nobly cheering on their men; besides, many noble privates died martyrs in the cause of liberty. But, notwithstanding this unpropitious beginning of the charge, they faltered not until this hazardous undertaking had been accomplished and the enemy driven from the field. We feel, sir, that it is but due our men to state that during the whole of this charge they were subjected to a murderous fire from front to rear, from friend as well as from foe. Owing to a mistake on the part of one and carelessness on the part of another of our regiments in the rear, many soldiers of the Twenty-seventh Tennessee Regiment met